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Transvaginal mesh bellwether trial scheduled

There is a new development in transvaginal mesh litigation. A significant trial is scheduled to begin in March.

As of January 2015, more than 68,000 centralized transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against seven manufacturers of the synthetic devices. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized these federal transvaginal mesh lawsuits at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, where one of the important "bellwether" trials has been scheduled to begin March 2.

The bellwether trial is representative of these actions as a whole. "In a bellwether trial procedure," according to an article that the George Washington Law Review published, "a random sample of cases large enough to yield reliable results is tried to a jury. A judge, jury, or participating lawyers use the resulting verdicts as a basis for resolving the remaining cases."

The plaintiff in the upcoming bellwether trial filed suit against Ethicon, the maker of the Prolift transvaginal mesh. She underwent transvaginal mesh surgery in Arizona.

"The plaintiff claims," according to court documents, "that as a result of implantation of the Prolift, she has experienced multiple complications, including mesh erosion, mesh contraction, inflammation, dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), urinary incontinence, chronic pain, and recurring prolapse of organs. In addition, she had four additional operations to remove and revise the implanted mesh."

Women who have claimed that their injuries were the result of receiving the transvaginal mesh submitted their allegations in documents known as long form complaints.

"The Defendants have marketed and sold the Pelvic Mesh Products to the medical community at large and directly to patients through carefully planned, multifaceted marketing campaigns and strategies," reads the long form complaint against Ethicon and related defendants. "These campaigns and strategies include, but are not limited to, aggressive marketing to health care providers at medical conferences, hospitals, private offices, and include the provision of valuable cash and non-cash benefits to health care providers.

"Defendants also utilized documents, patient brochures, and websites, offering exaggerated and misleading expectations as to the safety and utility of the Pelvic Mesh Products. Defendants' further engaged in direct-to-consumer marketing specifically designed to drive consumers to seek out these products for implantation into their bodies."

The Ethicon plaintiffs, not unlike plaintiffs in other transvaginal mesh lawsuits, accused the manufacturer of representing the product as safe, contrary to alleged unreasonable risks.

"At all times relevant to this action," the complaint reads, "Defendants intentionally, recklessly and/or negligently concealed, suppressed, omitted, and misrepresented the risks, dangers, defects, and disadvantages of the Pelvic Mesh Products and advertised, promoted, marketed, sold and distributed the Pelvic Mesh Products as a safe medical device when, in fact, Defendants knew that the Pelvic Mesh Products were not safe for their intended purposes and that the Pelvic Mesh Products would cause, and did cause, serious medical problems, and in some patients, catastrophic and permanent injuries."

These devices were surgically implanted to correct pelvic organ prolapse, also called POP, which is the "bulge" of organs into the vagina, and to treat stress urinary incontinence, also known as SUI, which is the unintended leakage of urine.

Any woman who has experienced pain and suffering that may be traceable to transvaginal mesh surgery may be entitled to compensation. The transvaginal mesh attorneys at Reich & Binstock want to help. The consultation is free, and the law firm operates in all 50 states. The courts are moving on these cases; nevertheless, there is still time to file suit, if a thorough legal analysis of the circumstances shows that there is a viable case.

Contact Reich & Binstock either by calling the toll-free number below or by submitting an electronic message through the form located on its web page.

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